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Tree Trimming Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

Trees are a perfect way of boosting a property’s aesthetic appeal. However, constant tree growth often puts tree crowns out of shape, giving your property an unkempt appearance. Tree trimming can restore the impressive crown shape and remove dead branches, giving your compound the most impressive look.

Before inviting professional tree trimmers to your home, it is essential that you know the amount you should expect to pay – this should help you plan a fitting budget. This article contains the average tree trimming cost and the factors that can increase or lower cost.

Average Tree Trimming Cost in Lansing

On average, property owners in Lansing spend $80 – $350 on tree trimming, with healthy medium-sized trees costing about $150.

If you have large trees in your home, the tree trimming cost will range from $300 to $1000. If professionals are unable to use their bucket truck while trimming your tree, you may end up paying 30 to 40% more as climbing a tree manually takes more time.

Factors Affecting Tree Trimming Cost in Lansing

1. Tree Height

The amount of time needed to trim a 100-foot oak tree is much less compared to the time needed to work on a 15-foot crepe myrtle tree. Taller trees have large branches, their crowns are generally wider, and professionals need more time to reach the tree crown – this leads to a higher tree trimming cost.

When professionals are basing their tree trimming cost on the tree height, homeowners end up paying the prices outlined below:

  • Over 60 feet – Large trees have the highest tree trimming cost, with professionals charging $200 to $1000.
  • 30 to 60 feet – Medium-sized trees are less costly. Tree owners, however, have to be prepared to pay $150 – $875.
  • Below 30 feet – Small trees in Lansing are the most affordable to maintain. Depending on how complicated the trimming procedure is, the owners pay $80 – $400.

2. Accessibility

If your tree is surrounded by sensitive structures – this could be buildings, powerlines, or a swimming pool – the tree trimming will be much harder as the branches cannot be allowed to fall freely. To keep the cut limbs from causing property damage, ropes may be used to lower the branches down – this generally means a higher tree trimming cost.

Bucket trucks make the tree trimming procedure much easier. Instead of carrying a tree harness and climbing a tree manually, the tree trimmers can get raised by the bucket truck to the tree crown. This means more safety and lesser time spent on each tree.

Bucket truck use, however, requires enough space under the tree. If a tree is surrounded by other trees or is sandwiched between a house and a security wall, bucket truck use may be impossible. The tree trimmers will have to climb up the tree – this can add 30% to 40% to your quoted tree trimming cost.

For example, a 130-foot pine tree may be quoted $1000 to trim with a bucket truck. If a professional has to climb up the tree manually, you may end up paying $1,300 to $1,400.

3. Tree Health and Stability

Most of the health problems that affect trees compromise the tree’s stability. The diseases weaken the tree’s branches – this often calls for additional safety gear and extra caution to avoid falling off the tree.

In circumstances where the tree’s stability is overly compromised, professionals may need to spend some of their time cabling it. This procedure will cost you extra money – however, it has the benefit of increasing your tree’s recovery rate.

Some of the conditions that often make tree trimming more expensive include:

  • Pests – These often eat sections of the tree, making the branches unstable.
  • Fungi – Fungi feeds on the tree’s vital nutrients. This weakens the tree over time.
  • Large cracks – These are an indicator that a tree is unstable and large forces could cause its trunk to break. Instead of risking breakage and the damages that could result if the tree fell on your house, professionals may ask for extra money to stabilize the tree and increase the rate at which it heals.
  • Weather damage – Strong winds can break branches – the same case applies to storms and other forms of weather-based traumas. Also, it is not uncommon for flooding and winds to compromise the tree’s roots, making more complicated interventions necessary to boost stability.

Most of the problems that cause instability on trees are often handled by arborists. A good arborist will inspect the tree, diagnose the tree problem, and recommend solutions. In the case of pests and diseases, pesticides and medications are recommended. The cost of arborist services and the solutions needed can add $50 to $500 to your tree trimming cost.

4. Travel Fees

Working with professionals based a significant distance from your home attracts a travel fee. However, avoiding travel fee is easy. All you have to do is work with professionals closest to your home – this will put you in the professional’s service zone.

If a professional has to go outside the service zone to trim trees, the property owners spend $0.5 per mile. This can add up to $50 – $200 per trip.

5. Number of Trees

Trimming a single tree is generally more expensive than trimming a group of trees together. The higher cost results from a list of fixed costs that cannot be avoided – the fixed costs may include travel fees, the cost of permits, license costs, fuel prices, etc.

If you are trimming a single 40 feet tree, you may be quoted $300. However, trimming ten 40-foot trees may attract a total of $2500 – in this case, you will be paying $50 less for each tree.

Tree Trimming Cost Per Hour

You will be hard-pressed to find tree trimmers who quote an hourly cost. This is because a wide range of variables is involved in tree trimming, including, the number of people handling the procedure, the team’s experience, and their equipment.

While one company may take an hour to complete a job, a different company could take 5 hours to complete the same procedure. In such a scenario, if the two companies were to charge the same hourly cost, it means that one company may end up with a significant loss, while the other will end up taking too much money from you for the same job.

Tree trimming companies prefer to charge a flat rate that compensates for equipment use, overhead, licensing, insurance fees, and travel time. In the flat rate, however, the companies may factor in $25 to $50 per hour for each worker.

DIY Vs. Hiring a Tree Trimming Company

Tree trimming is easier with experience, the right equipment, and a team to help you. However, when most homeowners are thinking of turning the procedure into a DIY, they are usually thinking of handling the task without professional tools, without help, and with minimal knowledge on how to trim trees correctly – this can make the procedure dangerous.

If your trees are large, meaning they have grown to a height of 60+ feet, the entire tree trimming procedure should be left for professionals. Even if you are confident that you won’t fall off the tree or cut yourself, the professional tools needed may be worth thousands of dollars.

Equipment Costs and Fees

From the bucket truck to the hand-held pruners and loppers, professional tree trimmers have all the tools needed when trimming a tree. As a property owner, if this is the first time you are trimming a tree, you will be forced to make an expensive trip to the local hardware to get the following tools:

  • Gas pole pruner – This is worth $150 to $300
  • Heavy-duty gas tree trimmer – You can rent this at $50 per day
  • Safety gear – You will need to spend $50 to $150 on safety boots, gloves, goggles, and a helmet
  • Ladder – A good ladder will set you back $150 to $500.
  • Loppers and hand-held pruners – These are worth $30 – $50.

After pruning your trees, you may need to rent a truck to carry the branches and leaves. To dump this waste, a fee of $25 to $100 may be applicable.


Several risks are associated with DIY tree trimming. The major ones include:

  • Falling from the tree crown and breaking limbs.
  • Cuts inflicted by the sharp tree trimming tools.
  • Property damage if the branches fall on nearby amenities.

Tree Trimming Tips

If your tree is small and non-risky, you can handle tree trimming by following the tips outlined below:

  • Remove younger branches since they have a lower risk of scarring and are easier to manage.
  • Remove branches with diameters of below 5 cm. Branches with diameters of more than 10 cm should be allowed to remain on the tree whenever possible.
  • Remove branches forming V-shaped angles with the tree trunk. Those forming the U-shaped angles are best left on the tree.
  • Always cut between the branch ridge and collar.
  • Trim Your trees during the dormant stage.
  • Sanitize the tree trimming tools to avoid spreading diseases.
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